In 2020, we reflected on our more than two decades in the venture capital business. With a team of almost 70 people globally that shared one culture, and a seamless worldwide infrastructure across the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, we had the building blocks in place to go even faster.
The Circuitous Path
While we often wished that our journey had been a straight line – especially in the long troughs of fundraising and in the midst of countless investor rejections – the circuitous path of our history served us well. We strengthened our vision and gained enormous empathy for the founder’s journey. Our patient investors have been rewarded with top decile returns.
Our strategy, detailed below, works because of its simplicity and repeatability. First, we start with a proprietary technology operating system that allows us to discover companies earlier than others. Second, we work with a group of immensely talented investors, and an extended global team, who all share values and a vision of success. And finally, we have an unparalleled global infrastructure – one with teams and relationships on four continents – that allow our portfolio companies to grow bigger, faster.
Our Technology Operating System. At the core of our strategy is our own technology platforms, EVA and ATHENA, both developed in-house. The backbone of our aggressive outbound strategy is EVA, our proprietary sourcing technology originally developed 13 years ago. EVA uses backtested algorithms to monitor 10M+ companies to find rising, often undiscovered winners. Once we’ve found a company, we apply our business analytics software, ATHENA, to use company-provided data to underwrite quickly and accurately, benchmark, and project realistic future capital needs and plausible growth trajectories. And this in seconds, not days.
Heart. Our team is the heart of Headline. We have recruited and mentored some of the best investors in the business. We value creativity, risk-taking, empathy, and collaboration. We are a true ensemble, all contributing different strengths, skills, interests, and talents to the whole. Our relationships are built on trust and warmth, and we deeply respect the founder’s journey. As a team we have sipped caipirinhas on the beaches of Copacabana and met founders in the Hutongs of Beijing.
Our Global Vision. We never believed Silicon Valley is the end-all-be-all. The foundation we have laid is one that brings together people from many geographies, cultures and backgrounds under one Headline roof. While some of us may be sitting at a desk in San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, São Paulo, or Tokyo, we share the same process, technology-enabled decision making, global connectivity, and empathetic mindset and respect for company builders.
These three elements combine to fuel our founders with resources at every stage of their companies’ lifecycles. Although we have come a long way since our early days, our future will remain one of independent thinking and forging our own unique path. We are laser focused on building a fully technology-enabled investment platform from which our partners will seamlessly launch new innovative products and new geographies to better serve global founders.
We are building a deep moat in the process. By using our technologies we have collected a massive set of data characteristics of every startup of the last 10 years throughout their development. Processing and utilizing the learnings through those singular insights to better identify and pick winners across the globe, will be a key to our success that drives repeatability.
Our industry never stops changing and we asked the people who knew us best where we could improve. The resounding consensus was that we needed the “glue” of a brand to tie together our global offices, strategies, and people. We needed our internal thoughtfulness and uniqueness to match our external image. As it turned out, brand does matter!
Many people told us that no company would ever change its name if it was successful. But during the branding process with our partners’ voices around the globe, it became very clear that we needed not just a new look, but also a new name that would be timeless, memorable, and representative of our philosophy for decades to come. Over the years, we’ve committed to founders as they’ve risen the ranks and taken the spotlight. The name “Headline” is meant to recognize these people and their stories, while symbolizing our dedication to helping them leave their mark.
The name is just one reflection of our commitment to living our brand by helping our entrepreneurs win, bigger. As part of this exercise, we have tried to design every single touch point we have to ensure that the smallest interactions reflect integrity, radical candor and empathy.
Headline is an expression of the many eyes that make up our global vision. It is our full-conviction, full-lifecycle commitment, with our Early Stage funds on four continents feeding our global Growth Fund. It is a celebration of our portfolio founders – our Headliners. It’s the energy we gain from these relationships, and hope to spread around the world.
Our entire global team is excited to warmly welcome you into the Headline family.